Spring 2021

Welcome to what is still, in many ways, a very difficult and unusual Spring. I hope this newsletter finds everyone well and taking care of yourselves and each other. I am hopeful as we work toward returning to in-person operations and look forward to continuing our good work in support of our students. Thanks to all for the inspiration!

This newsletter features several outstanding transfer student profiles, articles and updates and changes within various UW campuses, Colleges, Schools and Departments. I hope you enjoy and find all of the submissions informative.

Thanks to all who supported our efforts and participated in our second virtual UW/CC Advising Conference on April 16th. We had around 200 participants in a nearly full-day  Zoom format. We hope it was a good experience and we appreciate your patience as we navigated some technological challenges! If you missed the conference this year, and want to check out information from it or past conferences, follow the link to the website, above. We hope to be together in-person for 2022!  

The UW Seattle Office of Admissions tells us they are still planning to admit about the same number of transfer students for Summer and Autumn as we have in the past. We are also looking forward to Transfer Advising and Orientation (again, the virtual version) starting up in the near future. Current transfer students are settling in to life at UW and their majors, while others are preparing to graduate. 

Here's to a safe, healthy and productive finish to Spring quarter!

—Tim McCoy

Student Profile: Nicole Nichols BASW Major, UW-Tacoma School of Social Work and Criminal Justice

Interested in social justice, advocacy and helping others?  UW Tacoma School of Social Work and Criminal Justice is accepting applications for autumn 2021 admission into our undergraduate programs: 

B.A. in Criminal Justice 

B.A. in Criminal Justice Online 

B.A. in Social Welfare 

Prospective students are invited to schedule a pre-admission advising appointment with our advisor, Dayna Childs, via https://go.oncehub.com/swcj   

Transfer Student Profile  

Nicole Nichols, transfer student from Tacoma Community College 

B.A. in Social Welfare, 2020 

Advanced Standing Master of Social Work student 

Why did you choose to student Social Welfare? 

I chose Social Welfare as my major because through my lived experiences I found a passion for helping others and building connections throughout my community. I knew I wanted to work directly with folks who may be facing life challenges but could be shown how to empower themselves to create lasting change for successful futures. 

Which part of your UWT experience stands out the most? 

The most rewarding part of my UWT experience was my volunteer work and getting involved in non-academic activities. I believe that involvement in extracurriculars improves all aspects of education, and for me this was absolutely true. I was an active member of multiple student organizations and worked on campus in the Center for Service and Leadership, taking part in many service events and on-campus activities. I cultivated friendships and had unforgettable life experiences. 

Advice for future UWT transfer students?  

My advice is to get involved. It may seem difficult to add to an already busy schedule but fitting in time for campus activities will pay off in the long run. Having connections on campus is invaluable. Also, reach out to faculty, ask questions, and make use of office hours. Everyone on campus is friendly and available to help you. There are so many resources available for students; utilize them! 

Post-graduation plans?  (after earning MSW) 

I plan to apply to UW Seattle for my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I will remain in the Pacific Northwest, working in hospitals and private practice while researching and advocating for advancements in my field. 

Student Profile: Elizabeth (Lizzie) Zimmerman, Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major, UW-Seattle School of Public Health


Student Profile: Elizabeth (Lizzie) Zimmerman, Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major, School of Public Health

• Year: Junior

• Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

· Transferred from: Seattle Central College

Why did you choose UW?

I moved to Seattle at age 19 when I fell in love with living in the Pacific Northwest. After relocating to Seattle, I realized I wanted to go back to school for my bachelor’s degree around age 21. Going to the University of Washington was a goal, but I wasn’t sure how to make it a reality. After completing my associate’s degree at Seattle Central College, I applied to UW and was accepted as a transfer student. I chose the UW because of the outstanding reputation the school has specifically within the field of public health. UW provides the educational opportunities that interest me, and I was excited to be a part of various extra-curricular activities. I received tremendous support from the university which has made my transfer easy, and I’m proud to call UW my school.

How did you learn about the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major, and what made you interested in applying?

I originally found the Food Systems major because of conversations with my adviser about public health degrees. I wanted to learn about nutrition but was unsure how far-reaching the possibilities would be in that field. As I became aware of the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major at UW, I knew it would be something I would enjoy. The classes, professors, and the career options associated with it led me to choosing this program. I was beyond excited to enroll and I knew I would excel in the major. I understood the importance of nutrition and our food systems and knew I wanted to be part of society that helps make change within it.

What aspect of the program do you find most interesting?

Our food systems are so complex! I never truly understood how everything is connected. The food system is a dynamic system in which several sub-systems interact. One of the subcategories within food systems that I have found myself interested in is the social determinants that influence or food environments and dietary habits. I am interested to continue to learn more about how our social, economic, and environmental conditions influence food systems.

What are your future goals?

After earning my bachelor’s degree, I will apply to graduate school and pursue a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. I have always been interested in nutritional evaluation and am interested in a career within research. Addressing existing health inequalities related to nutrition, and prevention of various health issues including communicable and non-communicable diseases is a future goal.

Are you involved in any clubs, activities or organizations at UW related to food systems?

I am a member of the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Undergraduate Student Advisory Council, which I joined knowing it was a new major and wanting to connect more with my classmates. Another organization I am involved with is Health Educators & Advocates Reaching Out (HEARO), a student-led project and initiative that aims to educate, inspire, and empower underrepresented students in the Washington State Community and Technical College (CTC) system. I have led online workshops for HEARO about holistic nutrition as a way to develop a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

What do you like to do for fun outside of class?

I love being active. I love the gym, hiking, spending time with friends, and cooking a new recipe.

Share an interesting fact about yourself

I grew up with epilepsy and a heart condition when I was younger. This created a lot of learning disabilities for me throughout the years and impacted my education. Receiving my bachelor’s degree at my top University of choice and being seizure-free is something I never thought I would ever achieve.

What advice would you give prospective students considering a major in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health?

Enjoy your college experience! The Food Systems Major is what you make of it, and you have a lot of options on what you could choose to do. Food systems is interdisciplinary, so take classes that specifically interest you, or classes to help advance your future career. I found it important to get involved in extracurricular activities to help build my skills and understanding outside of the classroom. Being in a program within the School of Public Health offers many opportunities to learn across different disciplines, and you will meet a lot of amazing students and faculty members.

Interested in learning more? Prospective students exploring the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health major or Nutrition minor are encouraged to attend our regularly scheduled info sessions and quick questions drop-in advising; upcoming dates and Zoom information can be found in our events calendar.

Course Updates: Department of Mathematics, UW-Seattle College of Arts and Sciences

The UW Seattle Math Department will be moving several courses to the 200-level, effective Autumn 2021.

MATH 307 -> MATH 207

MATH 308 -> MATH 208

MATH 309 -> MATH 209

MATH 324 -> MATH 224

Incoming transfer students for autumn 2021 will have these new course numbers appear on their UW record when the equivalent course transfers and the UW Equivalency Guide will also be updated this spring to reflect the changes.

Why are we making this change?

The course content is not changing.  We are making this change to better reflect the rigor of those courses — these courses are not at the same level as our other 300-level math courses, as a result it often misleads students about what to expect when they take other 300-level math courses.

Please reach out to us at advising@math.washington.edu if you or your students have questions about these changes or need help understanding how they meet prerequisites.  It will take some time for all of our courses and degrees to reflect the change but we are here to help!

Student Profile: Gabe Hammond, Geography Major, UW-Seattle College of Arts and Sciences


Student Profile: Matt Novotny, Construction Management major, UW-Seattle College of Built Environments


Matt Novotny

Degree program: Construction Management

Year: Senior

Hometown: Nova Paka, Czech Republic

Transferred from: North Seattle College

Tell me a little bit about yourself:

I'm originally from the Czech Republic. I’ve been in the United States for the past eight years. I started as a High School exchange student and decided I wanted to pursue my education in the U.S. I took the GED test because I couldn’t graduate from high school at that time, then went to Everett Community College as an International Student. During my work there, I got my green card status. My wife and I moved into Seattle to be closer to higher education, as my end goal was to attend the University of Washington. Before transferring, I did my prerequisites at Seattle Central College and North Seattle College. There was a quarter where I was commuting between both colleges because they didn’t offer all the classes I needed at one. I was accepted into the University of Washington last year.

What made you choose the Construction Management major?

I started out wanting to be an architect. I looked at architecture programs all over the country but realized it wasn’t hands-on enough for me. I like being able to meet people in person and see a physical site, so that’s what led me towards construction management. An advisor pointed out to me that UW offered Construction Management and after looking at the website, I knew that’s where I wanted to go. I liked the idea of having a construction project, seeing it on paper and in 3D visualizations, and then getting to walk through the site.

What has been your favorite part of the department so far?

The connection to the real industry of construction management. We had a lot of guest lecturers who are working in the industry, presenting to us from their offices even, and I think that's the best thing. Once you get out of school it won't be as much of a surprise to you because you already know what to expect. It's not only academic, you gain real-life skills. Some of the instructors who are full-time with the University have their own construction firms or decades of construction expertise, so their perspectives and experiences are pretty important.

What's something that surprised you about transferring to UW?

Transferring to UW definitely took off at a quick running start. It wasn’t just a slow transfer where you have time to see how the school works. It was going in full time. From my perspective as a transfer student, it did feel as if I was slightly behind everybody else. Everybody knew where everything was, how everything operates. I was struggling to register because each school uses a different system and up to that point, I had been to three different schools. So it was a really hard start. I understand why transfer students might consider it very difficult.

What's been the hardest part about transferring or the hardest part of this program?

The course load is one part, but I think the hardest part about transferring is the different systems. Canvas was the only thing that was the same as my previous college. Registering for classes and even the size of campuses are different. The University is gigantic and my first quarter I had 10 minutes between classes with a little bit less than a mile to go -- that turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

What experiences have been the most impactful for you outside of the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, it’s the connection to the real industry, without a doubt. It’s great when you have a lecturer in a classroom that you’re then able to connect with at happy hour. I was able to get my internship because I went on a site visit and made a connection with them because I had recognized them as a guest lecturer. My internship is with the firm that is doing the Washington State Convention Center expansion project, which is providing great experience.

What would you say your dream job is?

One day I want to find myself in a leadership role on a large project or at a large company. Management is natural to me, so that’s the direction I want to go. In the long term, I'm hoping to get my MBA hopefully from the University of Washington and that might be able to take me a little bit further.

Since I got my green card, I’ve been working throughout school. I started as a construction laborer -- there were days where I spent hours in the crawl space of a house. I know that when I get a job after graduating, I will be starting as a project engineer or somewhere along those lines. But, I think that and my previous experience allows me to have a better understanding of what the job takes. So, once I get into a management position I can understand where my employees are coming from.

Do you have any advice for transfer students?

I would say to take interest in things. School can be really scary so don’t let it intimidate you. Try new things, take a shot at something. It can be challenging and it can seem like everyone knows what they are doing, but just try.

Do you have any words of advice for Construction Management students?

I would say push yourself into the industry and take chances. Seattle is one of the best places for construction right now. There are a lot of opportunities, so find a place where you fit in.

Why Become a Social Worker?: Two UW-Seattle School of Social Work MSW graduates respond

Why Become a Social Worker?
(UW Master of Social Work)

Master of Social Work (MSW) graduates serve as mental health counselors, nonprofit leaders, policy advocates, research scholars, child welfare specialists, hospital social workers, school social workers, and more.  You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) degree and/or part-time or full-time MSW from the UW School of Social Work. In interviews below, Tia (MSW ’16) and Israt (MSW ’21) share their respective career journeys.

Tia Pinzón (Yakama)
MSW ‘16 | she/her

Tia is Director for the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Program at Everett Community College. She was raised in Snohomish County.

She discusses imposter syndrome, “justice listening”, her vision for the future of social work, and her passion for co-creating community with the students she serves at Everett Community College.

“If other students are struggling or ever feel imposter syndrome or are questioning their belonging, I would want them to know that they are there because they do belong and they are there because they are incredible”

Tell us about your background and what led you to pursue a career in social work? 

A lot of times we are drawn to places where we could be of service (especially in areas where we could have previously benefitted from receiving that service ourselves). Part of what drew me to social work was being a field to practice social justice, and a place where I could be nurtured in ways where I could develop how to put social justice into practice, in places where I didn’t know what that looked like yet. I had an understanding of what social justice looked like in some spaces, but what does that look like in one-on-one counselling or other settings? I feel what drew me, was thinking about that. The field is not perfect and there is always room for change, healing, and growth, but knowing that there was a space that wanted to nurture and make a social justice impact was interesting and important to me.

Prior to college, I didn’t know much about the social work field or what you could do with the degree; I did not know that you could pursue a career in therapy through social work (you can!). I’m a first-generation college student, no one ever spoke to me about going to a university, or 4-year college until I was in my late 20’s. I knew I had to go to college, but when I first started, I didn’t really know the difference between a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, let alone how to become a therapist. My own personal experiences where I could have used a social worker, were ultimately part of what inspired my interest in pursuing social work, or therapy, or the work that I am doing now.  [I pursued an MSW because] I feel that growing up, I would have greatly benefited from having a social worker in my life, especially one from my communities, someone representing parts of my own identity, working through a framework of social justice. I recognized a need in my communities and saw the field of social work as a way that I could contribute. Also, you can be mobile across the field throughout your career. Currently, I’m working in higher education and will later move into therapy. Just knowing that there is that mobility made an MSW a good fit.

What type of work are you currently doing? 

The exact role that I am in now is with Everett Community College (EvCC); I am the Director for the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program. I serve students of color and women, or female-identifying students pursuing calculus-based STEM degrees. I enjoy this role because it involves multiple levels of social work. I have a large caseload and get to work one-on-one with students. I love building relationships with them and getting to witness their growth along their journey. I think it’s what I am most honored by in the work that I do. I also work with groups and facilitate workshops around different subjects and work on administration via meetings, collaborating with other programs across campus and folks that influence policies. My role is under the Math and Science Division, but I’ve also had the opportunity to serve on the leadership team for our Equity and Social Justice Division focusing on campus-wide initiatives to put social justice into practice. I cherish the relationships I get to build with partners across campus, and in the greater community. My favorite part of my current role is being with my students and being a part of the community that we co-create together. I feel very honored to be a part of that co-creation, which the students take leadership in as well. At EvCC, I’m also a co-advisor for the First Nations Student Club, which is led by Native American/Indigenous students. In both of my roles on campus, I strive for my practice to be student-centered.

What do you still hold on to today from your MSW experience? 

Part of what I cherish most about the MSW program is what I learned from my classmates. Our school is a cohort-based program and personally I was so busy because I was commuting, working, and caring for some of my family; I did not have the time or emotional capacity to build the relationships that I wish I did. You’re in that community, and it’s an opportunity to build meaningful relationships. I was also experiencing imposter syndrome; I know that was a part of why I self-isolated and did not prioritize finding community or building friendships. Imposter syndrome is real, and I think we can have it at any point in our lives, whether we’re out in the field, or we’re in the classroom. It definitely impacted me but it also helped me grow. I wish that I talked to my classmates about how I felt, but I was just so busy, or overwhelmed that maybe I did not have the bandwidth to be fully self-aware; those experiences help me in the work that I do now.  A lot of my students are experiencing imposter syndrome, and I have experienced it throughout my life too. Being able to normalize it, and knowing that it helped me grow, has helped me in guiding them. I also just appreciated the opportunity to earn an MSW, and the opportunity to apply to jobs that are truly meaningful for me that I would not have had the freedom to do without the education. Just the knowledge that I gained from the MSW was one of the greatest things I took away, and just the freedom to apply to versatile jobs. And this knowledge that I now get to take into spaces and continue to build on—so that I can contribute in ways that are the most meaningful for me. 

How would you describe your cohort throughout the MSW Program? 

They are so smart. Our cohort was full of super stars. People were really driven and passionate about how they wanted to contribute to society, so I felt moved to be around folks who were also passionate about social justice, in every aspect that we could incorporate and in different practices. What was really meaningful to me in being in (a graduate assistantship) role was that although the School of Social Work was one of the most racially diverse Master’s programs on campus, I still felt very lonely sometimes; I wanted there to be more students of color and I think that there were only a couple of other Native American students. I am Yakama and I only got a chance to be in a class with another Native American student once, and that’s not enough. I was thankful to be a part of a program that had the most students of color, but also wanted there to be a lot more of us, and that’s why I was thankful to have the graduate assistantship role that I did, with the School of Social Work Admissions office. I had the opportunity to recruit more historically excluded students. My main takeaway was that I did not see anyone who was not passionate about service and social justice and how to contribute to society; being in that environment was moving and I am very grateful for that. 

Are there any classmates or professors that you are still in touch with? 

Yes, there are. I am still in touch with a lot of folks from the program on Facebook and I keep in touch with Nikki, who was the other graduate assistant who shared my role. Three of my closest friends are UW MSW graduates from other cohorts and we support each other in our personal and professional growth as MSW’s. I still see what some teachers are working on, especially folks at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute and the folks that still work in the Office of Admissions who I keep in touch with. 

Were there any favorite professors or classes that you had? 

I had a lot of great teachers! The first person that comes to mind is Alice Ryan, MSW; she was so giving and generous with her sincerity and her expertise. I really appreciated her and the way that she graciously shared her knowledgeable with us. She taught us from her heart. She would cultivate and nurture an environment of community that we needed, so students could support each other in our learning and grow together. Another favorite is Gino Aisenberg, PhD, who was one of the instructors for the Community Centered Integrative Practice (CCIP) specialization. UW’s MSW program offers specialization tracks you choose from; I chose Health (now housed under Clinical Social Work) but I took all of Gino’s electives within CCIP. What I learned from him was how to really put social justice into practice in a one-on-one setting. Something that I tell people, which I still carry with me, was this phrase that he would say (paraphrasing): one way to put social justice into practice is to listen. He would talk about listening without judgement, but how he said it was “just listening” and what he meant by “just” was justice—so, justice listening. He also had a practice where he would have us bring something to class that was meaningful to us, something that’s tangible and part of our identity and our culture. We would bring it to class and share more about parts of ourselves. I have done that with my students too, when I have taught classes. Most of the students that I teach are students of color, and once a student who identifies as white shared with me that they did not know what to bring because they “do not have a culture.” So this would help stimulate really important conversations, where I got to witness my class growing together and building trust through identity sharing. I copied that from Gino. I literally take things that I learned in his class and put it into practice every day, and I do that with more teachers too with so many little things. All my MSW classes and assignments felt useful to me, even the ones where I felt super tired and was writing a paper at 2:00 AM. 

What advice do you have for current or prospective MSW students? 

To have grace with oneself. I’m thinking about the imposter syndrome part and want students to know that they belong. This is a competitive program, and I would question how I got in when it seemed like they had the best of the best in the classroom—but I wish I could have told myself that I got into UW’s MSW program because I deserved it and worked really hard, and have a lot to contribute. If other students are struggling or ever feel imposter syndrome or are questioning their belonging, I would want them to know that they are there because they do belong and they are there because they are incredible and have a lot to contribute not only in the field, but in the classroom too. If there are days where they feel like they do not want to contribute and they just have the energy to show up to class, that’s okay too! It’s normal if it feels that it’s a lot of work. All of us feel different but however it does feel, I’m sure it is normal. It’s okay to prioritize building community and friendships. Yes, classwork is important, but so is finding a sense of belonging. Community and belongingness contribute to our well-being. Also, being a part of a cohort can be a sacred space and students are a part of what makes their cohort sacred. 

Do you see that there will be any changes in the roles of social workers or in the field due to COVID and the ample things happening socially and politically? 

I do! I don’t have a really clear vision on what it will be like but my dream and hope is that across different arenas, social justice will be put into practice more and more. I think that we are trained to be practitioners of social justice and for me that’s my goal. Because our role is vast and because our skills can be mobile and useful in many different fields across these arenas, I believe that our field is growing. I think the field is also going to grow more than has been projected because of the things that we as a national community are going through right now. When transitioning out of the pandemic, there will be a higher need for social workers in different areas and with social justice movements. I am dreaming that there is going to be space for us and I think we are part of ensuring that there will be roles and spaces for us to share our expertise and our skills. And even in systems of criminal justice historically focused on penalization, I see where there is room for us too to help flip systems. I am dreaming that we will also be compensated equitably I think that as our roles become more recognized for how critical they are, we will be compensated more equitably.

Graduation Year: 2016 

  • Specialization: Health (now under Clinical Social Work)
  • Generalist MSW Practicum: Downtown Emergency Service Center, working with people experiencing being unhoused and those in crisis 
  • Specialist MSW Practicum: a community-based outpatient clinic (Veterans Affairs)

Israt Audry
MSW ‘21 | they/them

Israt is a 2021 graduating MSW student from Brooklyn, New York (by way of Dhaka, Bangladesh) with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Literature (City University of New York - Hunter College ’17).

They discuss their roots in immigrant justice & community organizing work, MSW practicum (field experiences), the challenges of COVID during graduate school, and reminding yourself to “find pockets of joy” while working toward liberation.

“My dream is to allow myself to imagine a world that doesn't currently exist”

Please walk us through your journey to social work, and what led you into the profession?

I remember taking AP Psych in 10th grade, and I knew then that I wanted to do something in the psych field. Then over time, especially after moving to New York, I got involved with a lot of community organizing around immigrant justice work. I did that for about eight years before I decided to go to grad school.

I went through all the motions of being a working class, South Asian, undocumented, Muslim person. Living with those identities (and more) and doing immigrant justice organizing exposed me to a lot of the struggles that people in my communities were experiencing beyond myself. Being in those spaces, I was having conversations over and over about how important it is to build people power and build the masses, and work towards liberation—while at the same time, recognizing that doing that work that takes so much of your energy and time, and is so deeply intertwined with your lived experiences; I noticed that there's a gap between this really important work we're doing and the mental health side of it, which is absolutely impacted by our work and vice versa—your work is impacted by your mental health and your mental health is impacted by your work, and yet there's no addressing that on a larger scale.

So, in having conversations with a lot of community members, I decided to go to school for social work. I've always had a drive for justice work, and this just makes the most sense to me. But it didn't just all fall into place. I initially applied to a couple of MBA programs because I was worried about building a career that would allow me to support my family. But, in hindsight, I'm so glad that didn't work out because I think all my life's experiences and perspectives have led me to this position. Not to say that if you do an MBA, you can't be a social worker, right? I know a few people who have dual degrees, and it actually sets you up to be a really great businessperson and have a private practice or firm of your own.

What inspires you most about the field of social work right now?

This field could look so dynamically different, if it had been under Black and brown leadership, and truly serving communities in the way that it was intended. I think that's what I draw inspiration from—knowing that as it currently exists, social work is an extension of the carceral state and that it impacts the very people it’s trying to help…I've come to terms with the fact that as a social worker, we will never get to collective liberation, or a different world exclusively through this field. So, a lot of my work has to happen outside of my 9-to-5 job. Essentially, this work is just putting on band-aids or making sure there's no further cuts or wounds as much as we can.

I draw inspiration from the communities that I'm working with and try my best to support them in the day-to-day as much as I can. I'm super committed to the long haul and long-term work outside of these structures. I think there's no other way for me to get to the kind of world that I would want to live in without that outside work.

Throughout the UW Master of Social Work (MSW) program, what did community look like for you?

In Seattle, I relied heavily on the connections that I built in the program. I was fortunate enough to build friendships with a few people that I really connected with in the beginning of the program. Mostly at first based on our shared experiences and identities, but then connecting to people based on shared interests. COVID happened while I was in school, making it hard to make further connections in Seattle outside of school. I think I relied heavily on staying connected to people through Zoom and staying connected to people back home or in the Bay area, where I have communities of people. It would have looked very different if I hadn't had the opportunity to find some friends in this program, just to debrief and process some of the experiences in the program or in life, as we've mostly completed our Master’s through COVID.

What would you tell the Israt that started the MSW program in back in 2019?

I would say, you're going to learn a lot about the extent of your abilities as a social worker, in terms of how much change you can actually make happen. And you will learn very quickly to manage your expectations and your disappointments in the program, in the systems, and in the overall field. And still, you will learn that even with the limitations of this field and this work, there are things that you can do from day-to-day that are hugely helpful to the people you work with that supports them in the here and now. And that those things are sometimes the most that we can do, outside of our commitments to this work on our own time.

I would also remind myself to try to relax more. Nothing is ever as serious as you think it is. And with a little bit of navigation, support from your community, and time, most things will fall into place or there will be ways to navigate the challenges that come up. So, try to find pockets of joy.

What will you take with you from your practicum experiences?

My first-year practicum was leading social skills group with neuro diverse kids. Their ages ranged from six to eighteen. When I first went into that practicum, I did it because it was in the clinical field and that's where I wanted to go; but I wasn't really interested in working with kiddos. I'd always worked with young adults and youth, so I was like…kids? Like babies? No thank you!

So, I went in not really seeing myself doing that work long term; but in doing that, I learned so much from the kids. I learned that I have the ability and capacity to work with kids, and it can be a really enriching experience. All that to say, we often come in thinking we're absolutely going to do one thing and then we try something new, and it opens up new possibilities. I think what I've learned and what I'll be taking away, is to always be as open as possible and allow myself to explore different opportunities.

And then my second year, I started working with kidney dialysis patients. What I'm quickly learning is that the medical field, no matter what role you are in, whether that's MD to nurse to dietitian to social worker, it quickly does something to you where you become desensitized or used to people’s suffering and to patients passing away. And so, one thing that I always want to be mindful of is how am I staying in touch with my humanity and compassion?  I think it's so important that we as social workers, especially as people who have so much power and input in people's day to day life, need to be mindful of checking in with ourselves so that we can show up and be fully present when interacting with people we work with. So it’s important for me to be checking in about how am I staying compassionate and knowledgeable and up to date with social movements and social change? Because it's so easy to become complicit and desensitized in this work otherwise.

I think there's a difference between ruminating so much that you become hopeless, and doing a five-minute check-in: like, “okay, this is something that has happened. I definitely feel something about it. I don't know what. I need to revisit.” Or, “this is something that happened. I'm feeling something about it.” I try to verbalize what I'm feeling if I can, so that I have the opportunity to come back to it at a later time. Because when we get so busy in the day-to-day, it's easy let it stack up without ever revisiting the things that we're feeling in the moment.

After you graduate this program, what do you eventually hope to do?

I think I’ll give you two answers. The question of what is your dream job? I think is silly in the world of capitalism. I don't have a dream job in capitalist society. My dream job would be to live in a co-op with a bunch of my people who have different skills that we could contribute to taking care of each other, and the communities we live in. And have skills like farming and medic skills, and teach ourselves different things that don't rely on the state. This is a very grand, idealistic dream, right? My dream is to allow myself to imagine a world that doesn't currently exist.

And then, in this capitalist society, because I have to survive and raise a family, and support people outside of myself, my plan is to continue working in medical social work. Both because it's financially stable, and because I enjoy working with patients and approaching them in a way that I don't see a lot of healthcare professionals do. I enjoy learning their stories and working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.

I also want to continue developing my therapeutic skills. I would really like to dedicate time to figure out interventions that work for populations beyond white, middleclass, middle-aged, people—things that I can do to provide therapeutic relief to South Asian, brown, queer, trans communities; and in an extension of that, how can I support Black folks in supporting their communities in doing that work that is needed, and is sometimes different from western, white therapeutic interventions?

With questions like this, I know I have to be practical in this current world, but also, I want to allow myself to dream of a different world.  Because otherwise, it can feel soul sucking and hopeless—and I don't want to exist in a world where I feel so hopeless all the time. The small ways in your day-to-day, like the way that you interact with your partner, or your friends, or your housemates, or the people you encounter at work is very much a reflection of what a different world could look like. And so, allowing yourself to practice that and envision that is so important.

Graduation Year: 2021

  • Specialization: Clinical Social Work
  • Specialist MSW Practicum: at a not-for-profit community-based provider of kidney dialysis, public health education, and research into the causes and treatments of chronic kidney disease
Updates: Milgard School of Business UW-Tacoma

The Milgard School of Business at UW Tacoma offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree with options in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, and General Business as well as specialized minors in Business Data AnalyticsCorporate Responsibility, and Sports Enterprise Management.


Check out this student profile about Milgard student Fanny Castro, a transfer from Olympic College, who was featured on the UW Tacoma website.



On January 29, Milgard hosted the 15th annual (virtual) Social Responsibility Case Competition for UW Tacoma students. Student teams presented their corporate responsibility recommendations on this year’s case, which focused on H&M and the hidden costs of fast fashion. The top two teams earned cash prizes, and the winning team also represented UW Tacoma at our international Milgard Invitational Case Competition on Social Responsibility in late February. The winning UW Tacoma team included Running Start and transfer students from Green River College, Pierce College, and Tacoma Community College!



Our Autumn 2021 application will remain open through July 1. Students completing business prerequisites by the end of spring or even summer quarter are encouraged to apply.


Milgard’s Winter 2022 application will open September 1 and the deadline is October 15.

Students first apply to transfer to UW Tacoma and then second apply to the Milgard School of Business.

Prospective students may visit our website, check out our virtual brochure, and are encouraged to register for one of our regularly scheduled online information sessions to learn more.

Heidi Norbjerg

Undergraduate Recruiter & Advisor; MSBA Advisor

Milgard School of Business

University of Washington Tacoma 


Updates: UW Seattle Career and Internship Center

Coaches at the Career & Internship Center are talking with students a lot right now about how to navigate an uncertain economy. COVID seems to have an analogous effect on the economy as it has on its human hosts: Some parts of the economy are “sick”, other sectors are gravely ill, while many parts of the economy are surviving and even thriving. We have been encouraged by resurgence of job and internship postings in Handshake, our one-stop shop for jobs and internships, information sessions and career fairs, and appointments with Career Coaches.  

As you can see from the charts below, job and internship postings have exceeded their levels from January 2020:



In the first week of April 2021, we posted 1,230 jobs to Handshake, as well as 339 internships. Top industries posting positions include:

  • Internet & Software
  • Local, State & Federal Government
  • Healthcare
  • Non-Profits
  • Research

With so many employers posting their job and internship opportunities in Handshake, transfer students who are looking to gain hands-on experience in their career field of interest should log into Handshake early and often. Students can create their profile, share their career interests and goals, and activate a job alerts. The more they engage with Handshake, the more Handshake can connect them with employers and opportunities.

Transfer students often arrive at UW with lots of work experience, but struggle to translate or transfer that experience towards their career path when writing about themselves (in a resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile) or speaking about themselves (in an interview). Career Coach can help students identify the skills that employers are looking for in every job in every industry.

We call these “Level Up” Skills. They include:

  • Manage Self:
    • Initiative
    • Adaptability
    • Accountability
  • Engage Others:
    • Communication
    • Collaboration
    • Honor Diverse Perspectives
  • Produce Results:
    • Critical Thinking
    • Creative Problem-Solving
    • Continuous Improvement

We can help Transfer Students to “work backwards” from the language in a job description, to reflect on how they have demonstrated these skills in their previous work. This may help them to stand out in a crowded pool of applicants.

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to discuss their next steps in their career – we will be here to help them every step of the way, even three years after they graduate!

Student Profile: Elise Morin, French Major, UW-Seattle College of Arts and Sciences

My name is Elise Morin and I am originally from the small village in France. Although my parents owned a successful bakery in Le Mans when I was very little, we moved to Paris when I was six since a bigger city meant better opportunities. I have memories of my dad getting up at 3a.m. to start the day and I admire that he still does this in the bakery we opened in Seattle when we moved to the USA.

My family’s adventure to the USA began with I was 16. I was excited to move to America. My college experience began at Seattle Central College when I graduated from HS and I worked hard to transfer to UW. I remember my first day of orientation at UW as if it were yesterday. I have been invited to share a few tips that helped me when I transferred incase they help you too.

Prepare questions and take notes at your orientation! You will hear about all the resources we have, places we can go for academic help and more… I felt a little lost in the beginning when we had to register for classes so find guidance on registration early. Try to meet people who can help you early. I found people in French and Italian Studies who took the time to explain the system to me and really cared about my success as a person and as a student. I highly recommend meeting with an advisor at the undergraduate advising center at the beginning of your first quarter to understand the different options, understand different timelines, look at classes and discuss a few majors.

Once you have a major in mind, it is very important to meet with an advisor who specializes in that department; they know the most about prerequisite classes and requirements for the major. In addition, it is crucial to build your network, so meet with different advisors as well as teachers. Teachers are here to help us succeed, they offer office hours where you are face-to-face with them and free to ask any questions. Also, if possible, join a group that is related to your area of study.

Look for experiences outside of the classroom. I applied to an externship for humanities students (C21@Amazon) and was chosen to participate from January to March 2021. Through the externship I expanded my knowledge of the roles and diversity of global workforce, and worked collaboratively with other students and a mentor to build professional strengths. I had a wonderful experience with my mentor and have already begun to job-hunt with more confidence (and success) because of the externship experience.

Finally, the University of Washington website is also a very good tool for anything related to classes, departments, and resources. You will find a lot of information on the website that will help you find answers to your questions.

In closing, I am very happy about my educational path even though it wasn’t easy sometimes. Coming to the USA and going to school here has been an adventure. I believe that each adventure is a lesson. For my family our dreams have come true in the USA. In part because we did our best and did not give up easily. I wish you all good luck in your adventures!



Q&A with Marielle Trumbauer, Alumnus (B.A. 2018), Jackson School of International Studies, UW-Seattle

URL: https://bit.ly/MeetMarielle

Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarships are available!

Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarships are available!

Transferring to UW in Seattle this year? Consider applying for the Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship. Applications are being accepted now for these scholarships, which support WA community college transfer students transferring to UW Seattle this summer 2021, fall 2021 or winter 2022.

The Martin Family Foundation was formed with the vision of its founder, Benn Martin. His goal was to fund scholarships for students currently attending Washington State community colleges who desired to complete their baccalaureate degree at the University of Washington in Seattle. Benn Martin was particularly interested in assisting students who have had a positive impact in their community.

Complete program and eligibility information is available on the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards’ website. The Foundation offers two scholarship programs each year:

  • The Martin Honors Scholarship enables Washington State Community College students, from any WA community college, of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement to complete their baccalaureate degrees at UW in Seattle. The scholarship provides $12,000 per year for up to three years at UW in Seattle. This scholarship is offered annually, May-July, for students planning to transfer in summer, fall or winter of the application year (including those who already transferred but have not yet earned more than 18 credits at UW). Up to three scholarships will be awarded this year.
  • The Martin Achievement Scholarship funds students who have demonstrated signs of exceptional ability in art, humanities, music, science, and/or leadership at one of the fifteen community colleges located around the Puget Sound region. The program will select Martin Achievement Scholars early in their community college career and provides $5,000 in support for their second year in community college and up to $12,000 per year for up to three years at UW in Seattle. Annual deadline is in April for students who still have another year to complete at their community college before transferring to UW. Next chance to apply for this scholarship will be in winter 2022 (for those who plan to transfer to UW in Seattle in 2023-2024).

Questions? Please feel welcome to be in touch anytime! Please email Robin Chang, robinc@uw.edu (or call 206-543-2603), in the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards.

Student Profile: Snow Zhou, Marketing and International Business, Business Administration Major, UW-Seattle Foster School of Business

I kicked off my academic journey in the U.S. by taking English and Math classes at Seattle Central College to pass the GED exam. Despite the challenges of language and cultural barriers, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I sought every opportunity for growth in the following two years of earning my associate degree at Seattle Central College. To cultivate a sense of belonging, you’d find me volunteering in community events outside of school or planning student activities on campus. To overcome the fear of public speaking, you’d find me raising my hands again and again until you notice that one day my face no longer turned red and emceeing student events in front of around 100 students. Because I learned that to grow truly is to overcome and that you don’t get what you desire by waiting to be noticed; you need to take the initiative and ask for it.

In my first quarter at the UW, I experienced what I later learned called imposter syndrome, the feeling that I did not belong and did not deserve to be here. But instead of getting drowned in the worry and self-doubt, I let it be my motivation to take action and make change. I showed up to events, participated in case competitions, raised my hands in classes, went to office hours, sought advice from the advising center, held student leadership positions, and volunteered my time to help others. Soon I realized that the resources had always been there, it's a matter of whether you want to take advantage of it or not. Taking action rewarded me the leadership role of being the president for the International Business Certificate Program and the marketing chair role of the Transfer Student Advisory board, and generous scholarships.

But most importantly, the sense of fulfillment, friendship, and connection. While doing all of these, I learned that life is limited only by the boundaries of my own beliefs and being an international and first-generation college student was no excuse. I know that you can do it, but will you choose to Believe that You can?

If anything, I hope my story inspires you to take action, and not just work for but raise your hand, and ask for what you think you deserve.

Here are a few resources that you might find precious in helping shape you both personally and professionally:

  • If you’re interested in global business and cross-cultural communications, I’d recommend looking into Foster’s award-winning certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) program. 
  • If you’re passionate about leadership development and hope to establish your own website, check out the Husky Leadership Certificate Program.
  • If you need further advice regarding transferring to the Foster School, check out the Transfer Student Advisory Board, a committee organized by a group of undergraduate transfer students just to serve you.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn; I write about leadership and personal development content.

Best of luck!

Student Profile: Charleston Burr, Construction Management Major, UW-Seattle College of Built Environments

Charleston is a transfer student in our Construction Management program. Originally from Kent, Washington, he transferred to UW in 2020, from Green River College in Auburn.

Degree program: Construction Management Year: Senior Hometown: Kent, Washington Transferred from: Green River College

Tell me a little bit about yourself:

I was born in Renton, Washington, and have lived in the south Puget Sound region for my entire life. I started college pretty young but got bored and dropped out when I was 19 or 20 (I’ve never claimed to be the most intelligent person in the room.) Once I got established and came to my senses, I decided to go back to school. I think I made the right choice.

I did my prerequisites at Green River College in Auburn because it was close to home and an opportunity to save some money during my first two years of college. I had the chance to enroll at UW a year earlier than planned if I had taken 25 credits over a summer, but I decided against that. During my year off, I took up a second job at Green River as a tutor for six courses.

What made you choose the Construction Management major?

There’s a strong argument that fate played a role in my decision; my dad has been in the industry for 40+ years, and I have two siblings who work in the industry as members of the UA Local 32 union. A better argument is that I was working in the industry when I decided to go back to school and didn’t want to throw away the little career capital that I had earned. But really, it is that I like to build things, and I enjoy working alongside the people that find their way into this industry.

What has been your favorite part of the department so far?

My favorite thing about the department is the close ties with the local construction industry. The department does an excellent job involving affiliate instructors active in the industry, each offering a unique perspective based on their experience. There are also many learning opportunities out of the classroom, and industry professionals are always willing to help so long as we put ourselves out there.

What’s been the hardest part about transferring or the hardest part of this program?

In my experience, UW does an excellent job getting transfer students on our feet.

The hardest part about the department was adjusting to the course load. I grew accustomed to taking no more than three classes at a time, so six courses in addition to work during my first quarter felt like overkill. It can be overwhelming at first, but it’s not so bad once you get used to it.

What experiences have been the most impactful for you outside of the classroom?

My favorite part by far has been the ASC Student Competitions. These competitions are held annually in Reno, Nevada, and allow schools from all over the country to compete in a wide range of categories (commercial, design-build, heavy civil, etc.) Teams are typically limited to six members, and most competitions require that a team spend 16 consecutive hours developing a proposal on a project recently completed by the problem sponsor. As a senior, my team submitted a proposal to Hensel Phelps on a $220M Operations and Maintenance Facility in Bellevue, WA for Sound Transit. I nearly dropped out of the team during my junior year, and I’m thankful for those who convinced me to stay on board. I like the team aspect, and I see these competitions as a low-risk opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge to industry professionals.

What would you say your dream job is?

I actually don’t spend a ton of time thinking about this. I try to focus on doing the best I can do today, and I think that most of the career opportunities available to me can be a “dream job” if I approach them with the right mindset. That said, I like variety, leading teams, and a good challenge. Something that features these attributes would probably be ideal.

Do you have any advice for transfer students?

Start early by working hard at school before you transfer into UW; the adjustment period will be much easier if you bring a good set of habits with you. Once you’re in, get plugged in early. Your peers already know how to navigate the college, and they’ll give you the resources you need to succeed. Get to know your faculty and work hard so that they get to know you. The college is big and has many resources; make sure you know which ones you need to get through your time here.

Do you have any words of advice for Construction Management students?

Ask questions, and when you run out of questions, find new ones. Seek to understand. Take advantage of the opportunities while you can. Treat every encounter like an opportunity to learn something new. Shoot high, and don’t be afraid of falling short. Accept that you’ll always encounter failure on the road to success. And finally, try to have fun.

Learn About the Office of the Ombud at UW-Seattle

The Office of the Ombud serves the UW community by providing high quality, client-focused services. We act as thought-partners with clients to assist in navigating any issues related to life at the UW. Through active participation in the problem-solving process, clients develop the ability to prevent, manage and resolve future conflicts.

Our roles and responsibilities include:

  • Serving as an additional informal resource to help clients explore a variety of paths to address their concerns or raise their complaints
  • Facilitating or mediating situations, when appropriate, to help find the best possible outcome
  • Addressing issues in an informal manner
  • Directing individuals to appropriate resources for both informal and formal processes

We follow these principles:

  • Safe space: We strive to provide a confidential, impartial and informal place for you to discuss your situation with people who know the university well.
  • You’re in control: We won’t take any action on your behalf unless you ask us to do so.
  • Learning environment: We are continuously learning and sharing ways to effectively address and navigate all types of situations and issues.

For more information on what to expect when visiting our office or if you would like to schedule an appointment please visit our website or email us at ombuds@uw.edu.